••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Monday, November 07, 2005

flood captions

so i'm watching book tv yesterday morning on c-span2, right? and robert kaplan is talking about his book imperial grunts: the american military on the ground, and i've got the closed captions on like i usually do, you know?

and he talks a little about environment and says "two-thirds of china lives on flood plains," right?

and the closed caption says "two-thirds of china lives below sea level."


i might've never noticed it, but i've known for a long time that some of the worst disasters in history have been floods in china. in 1642 one caused 300k deaths; 1887: 900k; 1911: 100k; 1931: 3.7M; 1939: 200k; and a bunch more with deaths in the thousands or hundreds. some may have been in areas below sea level, like when rebels broke a seawall in 1642, but the two with the highest death tolls were river floods. maybe that's why it got my attention.

building on flood plains is a serious problem in this country too. the frequent floods of the passaic river in north jersey wouldn't do much harm at all if municipalities didn't permit so much flood plain development.

i keep the closed captions on in case i mishear something. trouble is i often notice the typists don't hear much better than i do. folk don't always speak clearly enough, i guess.

but this time the typist typed something that wasn't said, and i did hear it.

it's not a one-time thing. most of the time i forget about it before i sit down to write. it just stuck in my memory this time.

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